The stretch of the Thames
from Grays to Southend is littered with forts and gun emplacements on both sides
of the river. Tilbury Fort was open to the public and in good condition, but I
always found the run-down derelict ones more interesting. You couldn't get
more run-down than Shornemead in Kent, just across the river from Tilbury.
Built at the end of the 19th Century,
Shornemead never really saw active service and was decommissioned after
WWII. During the 1950s it was apparantly used by the Army for target
practice. Here's my shots from a dry and sunny day sometime in the mid
1970s. The somewhat hazy aspect to the photos is down to the fact that the
photos are old, the day was bright (probably with a lot of UV), and the 1970s
did actually look like that.
Great place for motorbike scrambling
apparantly, at least when the ground was dry. The banks of the Thames are
very marshy and prone to flooding.
This is the "inside" of the fort,
showing plainly that it wasn't actually a fort but a battery. More of
an "other" side really.
Just to prove my point about
scrambling, here's some 1970s kids on bikes. You can see the flared trousers
even from this distance.
- Here's a panorama view of the inside of the fort using some of the above